Seeds of South Australia
Diuris palustris (Orchidaceae)
Cinnamon Donkey-orchid
List of species for Diuris
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Seed collecting:
November to January
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Least Concern
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii); D)   (Definite Decline)   [Hartley, Rockleigh; grassy woodland degradation]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii); D)   (Probable Decline)   [weeds, grazing, changed hydrology - threats]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN C1)   (Definite Decline)   [Sevenhill pop, definite decline.]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN C1)   (Definite Decline)   [Occurs in Mt Remarkable and Telowie Gorge. ]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern   (Probable Decline)
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR D)   (Definite Decline)   [Two subpop, Moonta & Rocky Bend, less than 50 plants. Definite decline.]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [1 record in IMCRA]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1)
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN C2a(i))   (Definite Decline)
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); D1)   (Probable Decline)
IBRA regions
3 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
, Endangered
, Critically Endangered
Fleurieu (KAN02)KanmantooEndangered
  (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii); D)   (Definite Decline)   [Hartley, Rockleigh; grassy woodland degradation]
3 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockEndangered
4 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
, Vulnerable
, Endangered
, Critically Endangered
2 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionVulnerable
, Endangered
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Diuris]
Name derivation:
Diuris from the Greek 'dis' meaning two and 'oura' meaning a tail, referring to the drooping lateral sepals resembling tails, on some species. Palustris from the Latin 'palustre' meaning swampy; referring to the habitat where the species was first found but not in this habitat in South Australia.
Found from about Quorn to the South-east in South Australia, growing in moist depressions in grassland, open forest or heathland. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Uncommon in Tasmania.
Plant description:
Terrestrial orchid to 15 cm tall in flower. Leaves 3-10, slender, linear, erect and twisted, to 10 cm long, in a loose tussock. Inflorescence at the end of brownish green stem to 15 cm long with 1-4, yellow flowers (with brown spots, blotches and striping, especially on the outer surfaces, or wholly yellow). Top sepal rounded, erect with a recurved tip. Lateral sepals brown or green, linear, down-swept, to 20 mm long. Petals erect and reflexed, on long purple-brown claws; the lamina oval to 8 mm long, yellow inside with two dark brown vertical stripes outside. Labellum relatively small, to 1 cm; deeply 3-lobed, side lobes narrow, as long as the folded, spade shaped mid-lobe, peaked at the apex. Flowers nutmeg scented. Flowering between August and October.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ellipsoid capsule.
Seed collecting:
Collect fat capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.